So the Red Sox have won the World Series again. Which is wonderful, and I’m very happy. But this has a different feel to it than the win in 2004 did. Not just because this time it’s been three years instead of 86. Not just because I’m not in college anymore and don’t have an entire campus full of people going crazy and sharing the moment with me. (Although we did get free booze at work to celebrate the victory—I kid you not.)
This time, it didn’t feel like an impossible dream. Even when we were down one game to three against the Indians, I found myself agreeing with Manny when he said, “Why should we worry?” This wasn’t a come-from-behind victory, even if the Indians were ahead of us in the ALCS for awhile. We led the division all season, at one point by 14 ½ games, and ended up division champions for the first time since 1995. We didn’t have to face the Yankees in the playoffs. We swept the Angels and the Rockies. There was no denying it—this time, the Sox were the favorites.
It’s a weird feeling. Our identity as fans, for so long, was based on rooting for a losing team. Even after winning in 2004, we had a so-so season followed by a really crappy one, and it wouldn’t have been a stretch to think that we were cursed all over again.
But we’re not. We’re a good baseball team with a lot of talented players, both veterans and rookies, and all signs indicate that we’re in good shape for awhile. (Or at least we will be if they re-sign Mike Lowell and don’t even think about A-Rod.)
I can only imagine the thousands of pink hat fans that this new victory has produced. It’s so strange to think that little kids today could grow up without ever having rooted for the Sox when they were a losing team. While I certainly hope we don’t go through another 86-year dry spell, I think it’ll be kind of a loss for those kids. Rooting for the Sox before 2004 taught a lot of us about patience and loyalty. Rooting for them now? Well, the kids will get to go to a lot more parades.